07 April 2008

Off the Grid? Use Your Imagination

This novel house provides its own power, even after the sun has set. The "wing-like" structure on top is covered by banks of photovoltaic cells. The PV feeds DC power to a bank of batteries large enough to provide power for a week--with no sun at all!
The robust components enable the building to be used in a variety of remote and hostile locations: places unsuitable for more conventional structures, such as in 10 feet of water of slopes of up to 35 degrees. The house’s tubular steel frame means it can withstand winds of up to 140 mph, despite having foundations that only touch the ground at four points to offer minimum site disturbance. __Inhabitat__via__Ecogeek
The house is a pre-fab design, which allows for minimal construction time on-site. It also has a rain catchment system that holds up to 2700 gallons of water. Plumbing is gravity-fed, and all organic waste is digested in a bioreactor beneath the house.

If you are going off the grid, you may as well go smart. Check out more images of the house here.

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Blogger Bob said...

That's a pretty sweet, 600 sq ft, $350,000 house.

Monday, 07 April, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes, Bob, it certainly is. But then, no one ever said living lightly on the land would be cheap.

Actually, such designs are best thought of as prototypes, such as one might see at an industry show.

I think a monolithic dome design would blend into the background better and would come in at less than a third of the cost. The rain catchment system can be built more cheaply at ground level, and if you have solar power anyway, why not use an efficient pump to raise the water to pressure?

A battery bank capable of providing 7 days of power would be horrendously expensive. There are several alternative ways to save money on almost all of the house's systems.

The "smart house controller" could be dropped altogether, saving a good bit of money in the process.

Monday, 07 April, 2008  
Blogger BrianSJ said...

The dymaxion house design had a lot going for it.
Having the panels on the roof and static; that looks somewhat ineffective and expensive - is it part of a packaging concept with too high a price, I wonder.

Thursday, 17 April, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

It's probably just an architect's design concept, just part of a portfolio.

It looks nice in the sunset, but it probably would not last long without very intensive and expensive ongoing maintenance.

Most people who move off-grid would like to do other things than spend all their time and money on upkeep of an over-designed house.

It is good for provoking ideas, though.

Friday, 18 April, 2008  

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